A great deal has been written on the subject of this chapter, most of
which has had little purpose other than to attract the lascivious. Where a
writer is really sincere in his effort to deal with the problem, the treatment
is often sketchy in that too great a neglect of necessary detail exists and that
too much emphasis is laid on the theme, "Be tender, be understanding."
It would be interesting to see a man, though he be in every respect a barbarian,
who on the bridal night at least does not possess tender emotions for his wife.
His subsequent offenses may be characterized by ignorance and the inability to
control himself, but never by a desire to be brutal. From a woman's point of
view, if her husband exhibits complete ignorance of how to go about a delicate
matter and lacks self-control once he is aroused, any tenderness on his part
must become of secondary importance.
It is probable that much of the carelessness concerning the duties of the male
on the bridal night and the honeymoon is due to the attitude that nature has
allowed for this procedure in her plans; that she does not regard it as a
particularly delicate or difficult operation, and will automatically protect the
fool from his folly in this one respect at least. To a limited extent, this
philosophy is valid.
Certainly, intercourse appears to be a perfectly normal function, performed as
easily and successfully by the savage as by the civilized and with no apparent
disturbing after-effects. It must, therefore, be a very simple procedure and one
requiring no particular knowledge. In the view of many, the pain of initial
intercourse, like the pains of labor, is something to which a woman must
For the state of labor, however, nature has also provided for the automatic
delivery of the infant; throughout a large portion of the world, this process is
aided only by a mid-wife. In our more civilized society, even police officers
have performed with passable competence in an emergency. Yet, what civilized man
in this country would consider allowing his wife to pass through childbirth
without the attendance of a qualified doctor?
Apparently, what is good enough for the savage and for us in one instance, is
good enough only for the savage in another. However, in initial intercourse
women have hem-orrhaged to death, although such an occurrence is very rare. In
view of even so remote a possibility, it is strange that the situation is too
frequently accepted as something about which the layman needs not a particle of
Of course, almost every man who has had the experience of marrying a woman
possessing a hymen manages to survive the ordeal somehow, just as a man who has
never delivered an extemporaneous address finally stumbles through an
unorganized presentation. Undoubtedly, nature has done her best to provide
against physical, if not psychological, damage, and has been more or less
successful. As with everything in life, however, the scientific approach is
preferable, even on principle alone. Let us, therefore, analyze the problem.
Behavior on the marriage night may vary according to the conditions which exist.
There is no one, stipulated, undeviating procedure which can be laid down as a
universal law, because, naturally, consideration depends entirely upon the
physical structure of the bride: Whether she be a virgin, or whether she has had
marital or premarital experience. In the two latter instances, the bridegroom
faces no insurmountable physical difficulties.
Of course, there are certain fundamentals which do not change, either on the
bridal night or subsequently; of these, self-control and leisurely preliminary
sex play are the most important. However, with respect to the specific problem
of the virgin, which is what primarily occupies us here, there can be and are
varying circumstances which determine male behavior. Let us deal with this
outworn concept of the hymen and its relationship to various suppositions as to
what constitutes chastity.
It stands to reason that pure chastity is a matter of thought as well as of
behavior. If we limit our discussion to fundamental physical qualifications,
many persons conclude that an undoubted virgin is one who approaches her wedding
night thoroughly intact.
Should a man be one of those individuals who appraises morals exclusively on the
existence of a more or less tough section of membrane barring entrance to the
vagina, he may be satisfied if it is present. But he may be completely deceived
by either its presence or its absence, because an intact hymen is proof of only
one thing: that it has not been ruptured. Its existence cannot, by any stretch
of the imagination, mean that a woman has participated in no form of sex
indulgence. In many cases a male has partly entered the vaginal canal, merely
stretching the hymen, but not breaking it.
Furthermore, any number of girls will allow every form of intimacy short of
actual intercourse. By this it is not meant that intercourse with them is
impossible, but only that such a girl always exacts promises that her partner
omit the final phase of the relationship. However, the male can experience
orgasm and even induce one in his partner, since he has only to move his penis
along the external genitals, brushing the clitoris. In fact, this a frequent
variation in instances where women of low sensitivity experience no sensation
about the vagina, but are more aroused when the male organ rather than the
finger induces the sex sensation at the clitoris. Obviously, a woman who
maintains her hymen intact under such conditions can hardly be considered as
retaining a virginal status. Certainly, even lesser intimacies must be regarded
as modifying a woman's virginity.
On the other hand, is the absence of the maidenhead in itself any indication
that a woman has been violated? No more so than its presence proves virginity.
It is not necessary to seek far for the reason. The hymen may have been
accidentally ruptured in childhood or adolescence in ways too numerous to list,
and a girl may not have the slightest awareness of the occurrence. Nevertheless,
she is as virginal as her sister whose hymen has remained intact.
But what if the hymen is not lacking by reason of accident but has been lost in
the routine of sex practice? Is it possible to determine the one from the other?
The answer to that is that it depends entirely upon the structure of the girl,
on how capable an actress she may be. and on the male's gullibility. If she has
a small canal, can lie plausibly, and is able to affect a realistic simulation
of pain, she can stage a most convincing performance and completely mislead a
spouse who understandably indulges in wishful thinking. In many circumstances,
even a physician can be deceived.
Thus, as a practical matter, the absence of the hymen is no guide to the
virginity of a woman, nor is virginity a standard by which to evaluate chastity.
Where, then, do we stand? The truth is, we stand exactly where we should. A
woman should be taken on trust and trust alone, just as she accepts a man; if he
is not sufficiently tolerant for that, then he should remain a bachelor. It will
be best for both, and certainly best for a woman; otherwise, she will lead a
life of continuous torment.
There is no fixed law for determining the future morality of one's wife. We must
rely on the estimate we have made of her as a person. The fact that she is
intact on her wedding night is no guarantee that she will not slip from her
pedestal five years hence. Nor is the fact that she may have been indifferent to
conventions prior to her marriage any indication that she will not make a
constant and devoted mate. A woman's chastity depends upon too many influences,
the least important of which is her self-control and the most important of which
Let us assume, however, that the groom will rejoice in the discovery that his
wife is intact on the bridal night. If he is interested in approaching this
occasion with a certain amount of security, he can gain it by following certain
procedures. Similar knowledge need not overburden the prospective bride. Since
it is she who will bear what inconvenience there is, she can relieve it by
At the outset, it is well for a woman to understand that the rupturing of the
hymen is not necessarily an excrutia-tingly painful experience. Normally, if it
is done properly, there exists what may be described as a painful moment
following which there is immediate relief. There is nothing about the entire
operation to fear or dread. In fact, many women experience no pain at all. A
definite and somewhat severe tenderness does continue in many cases, however,
for a number of days following, but it is in no wise so disturbing as to confine
a woman to bed and so easily bearable that she need feel no concern.
However, there do exist conditions with which the male should be acquainted and
which will have a bearing on his behavior. The hymen membrane varies in
toughness; if it fails to yield quickly under reasonable pressure, it is
obviously wise to attempt to weaken it by gradual stretching and not to insist
upon completing the process on the wedding night. Should repeated failures
occur, the matter should be referred to a physician, who will determine the
difficulty and relieve it. Usually this involves only a simple and relatively
painless puncture of the hymen.
It is also intelligent for the prospective bride, when she appears for the
Wassermann test, which most states now prescribe, to undergo a thorough physical
examination, learn whether her proportions are large or small, and ask her
doctor's advice. She should then discuss her physical condition with her future
This, perhaps, is most important of all and should be constantly carried in mind
by the groom: All initiative, all control lies completely within his hands. The
bride can do only one thing of importance, and that is to relax. Even so, the
husband must repeatedly remind her of this and assist her in it.
Before attempting intercourse, the husband should also thoroughly acquaint
himself with the genital region of his wife. He should direct his attention to
the construction of the vaginal canal and the location of the hymen, so that
direct and not angular pressure may be used against it. Depending upon height
and size, it may be necessary for a woman to be placed with her buttocks on a
pillow to elevate the extremities, or she may be forced to bend her knees
sharply, or even wrap her legs about the waist of the male, to mention only a
few considerations. These are physical peculiarities which the male must study
and about which the physical examination mentioned can be most helpful; women
very definitely vary in structure.
The correct angle of entrance is not at all important in subsequent intercourse
once the vaginal section has accustomed itself to accommodate the male organ;
the walls of the vaginal canal automatically adjust the penis to a comfortable
position. However, for the single purpose of rupturing the hymen, a direct and
not angular pressure simplifies the process, and this requires a certain
familiarity with female structure.
It is probable that not one man in ten, prior to marriage or subsequent to it,
can draw a simple sketch of the cross section of a woman's genitals to include
the uterus, the outer lips, the clitoris, the urethra, the inner lips, the
vaginal muscles, the hymen, the vaginal canal, and the tip of the womb—just
eight small parts and seven of them all-important to an adequate understanding
of what is involved in proper sex indulgence, and ignorance of which may
interfere with enjoyment. Such a sketch is presented on the next page. It should
be studied; on the bridal night, instead of making a determined effort to
rupture the hymen at all costs, the husband should compare the diagram with his
wife's genital region, as determined by actual examination. The approach to this
matter should be casual and delicate to avoid giving a bride the impression that
this investigation arises from pure physical lust, and to avoid arousing the
suspicion that the husband may be unconventional in his habits. If one goes
about this properly, he will also go a long way toward destroying future
inhibitions which may lead to false modesty. A study of the sketch, if it does
nothing else, may prevent a blundering groom from battering away at the tip of
the womb in subsequent intercourses.
Once the hymen has been ruptured with only normal strain, it will in most cases,
hemorrhage. It should then be allowed to bleed itself out, provided, of course,
the flow appears to be a normal one and ceases within a reasonable length of
time. Actually, that is sufficient progress for one night, and a thoughtful
husband will so regard it. He may be sure, also, that his wife will not be too
opposed to a cessation of activity, and he should not be misled by any
protestation that she is willing to proceed. She may do so only because she
feels that an interruption interferes with the satisfaction of his passion. She
realizes that this is a disagreeable performance and is moved by a feeling of
Actually, this is the true situation; she has been tense and anxious, and
certainly with ample reason. She has been expecting a somewhat painful and
generally disagreeable experience, and her nerves are as taut as those of a
patient in a dentist's chair. Furthermore, it is completely out of the question
for men or women to give their best to sex indulgence unless they are thoroughly
relaxed. This is particularly true of a woman. It is abnormal to force upon her
something which she is neither physically nor mentally adjusted to meet. If one
still feels amative, there are ways to spend the time, ways so obvious that they
require no explanation. A virgin awaits introductions to the world of sex. A
perfect lover with the proper understanding will control his own passion on this
particular night as he will do frequently in the future and, following the
rupture, will devote himself exclusively to relaxing her and not himself.
FEMALE PELVIC ANATOMY
||10. Fallopian Tube
If hemorrhages occur on subsequent attempts, the male should restrain his
impulses until bleeding stops permanently. Common sense suggests that where a
bleeding occurs, irritation is present. No man would apply friction to an open
wound on his own body, and he must be equally considerate with his wife.
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For the next few occasions following the stoppage of the flow, the introduction
of the male organ into the vagina should, if necessary, be a gradual one; only
an indifferent groom will insist on entering beyond an inch after the first
signal of female discomfort. There should be no attempt to penetrate the full
distance under any circumstances until the depth and width of the canal have
been ascertained. It is possible that the woman may be so constructed as to be
at all times "tight," as the expression goes, and to have a short canal. It is
astonishing how the length and width of the canal can vary with women and affect
the pleasure of intercourse from the purely physical standpoint. The male should
try to estimate these dimensions by inserting a well lubricated finger to the
cervix in the vaginal vault. This will give him an approximation of size.
Returning to the actual introduction of the penis, the groom should withdraw at
the first sign of female distress, and repeat the procedure several times until
easy access to the distance of an inch is permitted with lessening discomfort.
That is sufficient for this particular period also; it might be added that
during these invasions the male organ should be well lubricated with vaseline
or, preferably, surgical jelly.
Upon succeeding occasions, penetration may be increased bit by bit, thus
allowing the vaginal walls sufficient opportunity to become used to this gradual
crowding. After several periods of careful and considerate conditioning, it will
be found that, outside of a sharp but temporary twinge of sensitivity
immediately upon distending the mouth of the vagina, entrance can be effected
without difficulty; one is then, and only then, ready to undertake the problem
of perfect intercourse. This cannot be accomplished overnight, and it is dealt
with in subsequent chapters.
It must be emphasized that the depth of the vagina and vaginal vault varies with
different women. Even upon their fullest expansion they may not, perhaps for
several months, be able to accommodate more than half to three-quarters of the
male organ. A great many women, prior to childbirth and in numerous instances
following, never stretch in depth to a point where they can accept the full
length of an erected penis, especially if the male organ is larger than average.
The genitals of men, as well as those of women, vary in proportions, and a
normal male penis may have an erected length varying from five to seven inches.
In these situations, it is unwise to batter as with a ram upon the vaginal vault
and the tip of the womb. Eventually this will create pain and tenderness, and
accomplish nothing other than to develop in the wife an aversion to the sex act.
It is very probable that childbirth will ultimately make an adjustment in size.
The intelligent and considerate groom will devote a week or ten days to
gradually introducing his bride to the delightful world of sex instead of trying
to bring it about in one operation. When he feels that he has fully accomplished
this to the best of his ability, he should see that she is examined by a
physician to make absolutely certain that no injury has occurred, especially if
the wife experiences any constant pain during relationships. She will then
probably never have reason to find sex repugnant as a consequence of blunders on
Unfortunately, and in spite of all that may be said, many women will find the
bridal night extremely disagreeable. Normal men exist who when sexually aroused
have no control whatever over their impulses. They become, literally, frenzied
and oblivious to everything but their own needs. A wife's discomfort cannot even
register, so overwhelmed is this type by its own emotion and so driven to
There is little a woman can do under the circumstances. She can submit and hope
that time will either condition her to these assaults or that her husband will
eventually introduce reason into his approach, a most unlikely probability. Her
safest course is to have an immediate showdown. Regardless of the honeymoon
stage, she must make it firmly understood that, under no circumstances, will she
submit to further attacks of that nature. She must strongly impress upon him
that his emotion is no excuse for rape, because rape it is. She must warn him
that unless he exerts an intelligent control over his future behavior, she will
forbid intimacy. And she must mean it.
A man of this type is a bully by nature, and like all bullies is quick to seize
upon any physical advantage he possesses. Once a woman submits to his
indifferent handling of her, she becomes from that moment a piece of sexual
apparatus to be used and abused according to his inclinations. Unless she faces
the situation squarely and at once, her general future with such a husband is
If one accepts the accounts of women who have described the events of the bridal
night and those immediately following, a thoughtful husband will realize how
easy it is to make mistakes. The problem must be approached leisurely; it must
be considered studiously; and it must be treated practically. It is not a
glamorous or routine undertaking, but a very serious one. In fact, the bridal
night should be regarded not as an appropriate occasion for the enjoyment of
intercourse, but as the most unsuitable time for it.